Review: Black and White
The hype surrounding Black and White has been phenomenal, and now it's here, it's time for yours truly to cut the fat.
For those you don't know, Black and White is a revolutionary game by Lionhead studios, which is headed by Peter Molyneux [the brains behind Populous, Syndicate, Dungeon Keeper and Theme Park].
Black and White is hard to categorise, but here it goes: B&W = RTS + RPG + Tamagotchi. Basically you play the role of a god, your power stems from how many people believe in you. You also have a creature [this is the tamagotchi bit] who learns and follows your examples. If he does something good, you can pat him, if not, give him a whack. The creature grows and gets it's own personality based on what you've taught it. At the start of the game you can choose one of three creatures; a cow, a chimp and a tiger. But later on up to six other creatures become chooseable.
Your creature learns miracles by watching you, and learns other things by watching the villagers [like dancing etc].
Your job is to keep your followers loyal and to get new followers, you do this by supplying them with food or wood or by scaring them with your godly might, hurling boulders, lightening or fireballs at their children and such. This is where the black and whiteness comes in. It's easier to be evil, but you get more followers in the long run by being good. The whole game morphs with your choice of alignment, your temple, hand, music and creature all change if you start doing evil deeds.
Another revolutionary part of the game is that it connects to the net for a vairety of reasons, it simluates the weather in your area in the game[!], if you're listening to an mp3, it finds out what kind of music it is and your creature starts dancing in that style[!!!] You should see my 40 foot tiger break dance!
B&W has no hud, you control the whole game with just your godly hand. You could even finish the game without using the keyboard if you wanted to. This immerses you in the game and is suprisingly not shithouse. The game also has character recognition tech: want to do a heal miracle? Just make a heart shape on the screen with your mouse, Want your creature to fling a fireball at it's oponent in a fight, just make the right symbol and that wolf is toast baby! That is cool.
To sum up, B&W is a feature packed fun-ass game, it's very long and hard at the start but the time flies as you get attached to your creature and the villagers. I don't reccomend it if you're an FPS nutter, but if you have even the slightest background in RPG or RTS games you should find it well worth it.
One crticism I could make is that the in game menus can be abit confusing, and take the minimalsitic control idea a tad too far.
I had a hard time packing all the cool features of the game into this review, still don't expect to orgasm as the hype suggests, just give it a go and find out how evil you really are.
[ more info here ]